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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

Proof that bigger doesn't always mean better
Mon Feb 03 2014, 08:50

Product Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
Specifications 4.3in 720x1080 resolution 342ppi multi-touch Reality display, quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage with microSD card expansion up to 64GB, 20.7MP rear camera, 2.2MP front camera, GSM/3G/4G, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, DLNA, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, IP57-certified water and dust resistant, 127x65x9.5mm, 137g
Price £449

JAPANESE PHONE MAKER Sony clearly has been keeping an eye on Apple. The launch of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact sees the firm configuring a pint-sized smartphone with flagship specifications, looking to attract punters who haven't joined the phablet revolution.

While the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One Mini offer cheaper alternatives to their flagship siblings with downgraded specifications, Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact doesn't have downgraded features but sports a lower price than the flagship Xperia Z1.

The design of the Xperia Z1 Compact is nearly identical to that of the flagship Sony Xperia Z1 smartphone. The miniature version features the same boxy shape as its high-end predecessor, the same glass coated plastic chassis and the same aluminium edging surrounding it. 

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact design1

While the glass coated casing proved a nightmare for picking up fingerprints and dirt, the design of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is among the nicest on the smartphone market. The handset both looks and feels like a premium device, and with measurements of 127x64.9x9.5mm and a weight of 137g, the device is very comfortable to use - much more so than the original Xperia Z1. 

Like its predecessor, however, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is IP57 certfied - which means that unlike the similarly sized iPhone 5S, for example, the handset is resistant against dust, scratches and one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.

Sony offers the Xperia Z1 Compact in four different colours, so if you're not keen on the white model above it's also available in black, yellow and pink.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact features a 4.3in 720x1280 resolution HD display with a pixel density of 342ppi and Sony's Triluminos display technology. 

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact mainWe give uncommonly high praise to the screens on Sony smartphone devices, but we have a complaint about the Xperia Z1 Compact dispay. At HD 720p it's lacking some of the sharpness found on higher resolution HD 1080p displays. However, the IPS screen technology on the Xperia Z1 Compact means that it doesn't suffer from the poor viewing angles of its bigger, more expensive brother.

Perhaps the best thing about the screen, though, is its size. While we enjoyed using the 5in screen of the Sony Xperia Z1, the 4.3in display of the Xperia Z1 Compact is much more usable, and we found ourselves able to use the handset comfortably with one hand, making it a rarity among today's flagship smartphones. Saying that, we did find the bezel surrounding the screen unnecessarily wide, adding a bit of unneeded bulk to the handset.

Next: Performance, software.


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